“What’s past is prologue.” _ William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Camp Jordan is hosting two performances of Williams Shakespeare’s The Tempest put on by Back Alley Productions.
The first performance on a beautiful Friday night was at the Amphitheater. The Back Alley cast will put on another staging of The Bard’s final play on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The Tempest is set on a lonely island far from civilization where superstition and sorcery reign supreme. It’s her that a magician and scholar named Prospero rules over the otherworldly inhabitants _ spirits and demons _ with a shrewd hold over justice.
Betrayed by the colleagues he swore to serve and now thought dead, Prospero, a former duke of wide political power, has been stranded on the island for 12 years. The only other human with him is his now teenaged daughter Miranda, a wild thing unaware of society’s rules. They live in peace, maintaining the balance of the island magic.
But now, things are slowly beginning to change.
Through a mystical vision, Prospero sees a royal ship passing close by his island. He knows it carries the wrongdoers who double-crossed him, including his scheming brother Antonio. Propsero sets forth to raise a magical tempest that causes the ship to run aground.
With the upperhand over the new castaways, Prospero sets out to requite those who wronged him, aided by his most trusted spirit, Ariel, and a trove of spells.
According to the play’s director, Kaylee Smith, there are two levels to The Tempest. One is the story of a magician on an island seeking revenge that serves as a fantastic story on its own. The other is a self-aware look into the crazy, fun and sometimes maddening life of theater. Some historians have even interpreted Prospero as Shakespeare himself, the tired master of illusion at the end of his career.
In this Back Alley Production of The Tempest, Prospero is played by Zack Jordan, who has previously appeared in Over the River and Through the Woods, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Twelve Angry Men.
Madison Smith is Miranda. Smith has been acting for more than five years and has been in over 14 stage plays and several musicals, including Annie at the CTC, Into the Woods with Closed Door Entertainment and several for Back Alley Productions.
Antonio is portrayed by Alex Walker, who has been with Back Alley for more than two years and has performed in nearly every show in that time.
“Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong
Hark! now I hear them,–Ding-dong, bell.”
― William Shakespeare, The Tempest